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Norma's Place reborn as ReWork ReStore

Second-hand shop will also offer job training program for those in need


by: REWORK RESTORE - Merchandise at the newly opened ReWork ReStore ranges from clothing to kids toys. The St. Helens nonprofit store also features a job training program.The recently closed Norma’s Place second-hand store and job training center has been reborn thanks to the efforts of charitable-minded volunteers and businesses.

Due to a tightening budget, Columbia County Women’s Resource Center closed its Norma’s Place retail shop and job training center in June 2012.

But the volunteers and others who believed in the goal of Norma’s Place to promote self-sufficiency through job and life skills training — all while offering inexpensive merchandise — didn’t let their efforts end with the store’s closing.

They banded together, and last month, opened the ReWork ReStore at the home of the old Ace Hardware building in St. Helens, located at 114 South 17th St.

Darrell and Leona Sandburg helped volunteers secure the building, while Lynn Hall and Arn Lewis repainted pallets donated by Taylormade Products to create what they call a “boutique atmosphere.” The local Fred Meyer and Safeway also helped get the store off the ground.

A grand opening party for the resale and consignment mall will be held Oct. 27 from noon to 5 p.m. A ribbon cutting will be held at noon, and games and refreshments will be served from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

ReWork ReStore is now its own registered nonprofit and operates much like Norma’s Place did for many years, including a job readiness training program. However, the new shop will not only sell goods donated by the community, but also a rotating selection of new items. The store also features space reserved for residents without the means to rent their own retail shop so they can sell their art and antique items.

The Columbia County Women’s Resource Center owned and operated Norma’s Place as a nonprofit job training program, which gave those without basic job readiness skills the chance to become self-sufficient and move on to steady work. The merchandise they sold provided inexpensive clothing, furniture and decorations for bargain hunters or those in need.

ReWork Restore is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.